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3 Reasons Why a Gold IRA Investment is the Best for Your Family

There are several ways you can invest your money. In fact, you can choose between assets like platinum, silver and gold. An IRA gold account is one of the more popular type of accounts, simply because gold is a great buy as an investment. Whether it is for you, or even for your little boy, it is never too late to get an IRA. There are many IRA gold custodians out there that offer family and individual plans.

This particular IRA option has managed to outrun other precious metals in the market such as silver and platinum since it is a more lucrative investment option. This is also due to the ability of gold to offer a reliable and safe investment while being flexible as well as affordable. Listed below are the top three reasons to choose gold as your IRA option.

#1 – Safe haven

During these uncertain times, investors are anxious to put their savings on plain cash since it can be easily blown away to the softest of winds. But heavier gold bullion will remain strong even during the strongest of storms. In simple terms, currency fluctuation and inflation are common side effects of major economic crises.

In such situations that are beyond the control of regular investors, they prefer not to invest their savings in cash, at least not all of it. On the other hand, regardless of the financial situation, the value of gold will not change. This makes a gold IRA investment a positive hedge against inflation and a safer alternative, meaning that you and your loved one will be safe now and for the future.

#2 – Price relativity

Gold is approximately 28 times the price of silver, thus you will be able to have less physical assets over whose safety you have to worry about. For example, if an ounce of silver is $25, the price of gold per ounce would be $700. This means that if you had $7000 in your account, you would only need 10 ounces of gold, but a lot more of silver.

Of course, you can always change your investment into gold according to your convenience if you have another type of IRA. This transfer can be facilitated by using a gold IRA rollover. You obviously won’t need one of these if you choose the gold option for both yourself and your little one from the get-go.

# 3 – Diversification

Having only gold in your retirement account can be risky. Let’s assume that the value of gold drops down suddenly on a global scale, your entire life’s worth of savings will be wasted. Therefore, it is important to diversify your investment. Even though using an IRA rollover to change your investment type is a useful option, spreading your investment on various gold products will be a more convenient, manageable and wiser solution. The value of gold keeps increasing by the day. By diversifying your gold IRA, you can benefit from both good and bad economic situations.

If you are 100% sure about investing your money on precious metals, gold is the most suitable, reliable and profitable way to go considering the current economic climate. Make your future more secure, and make sure your kid’s is even safer.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by FinanceDad - September 23, 2015 at 8:53 am

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Uber St. Louis free $20 coupon code

I’m pretty happy Uber is here…FINALLY.

Here’s the Coupon for $20 free ride.

Rates are definitely cheaper than shitty cabs.

St. Louis – Your UberX Is Finally Arriving Now!

For too long, St. Louis has been the largest metro area in the United States without ridesharing. Today, that changes.

You called, you e-mailed, you tweeted, you wrote letters and signed petitions. You made your voice heard and you made it happen. Thanks to you, all St. Louisans can now push a button and get a ride.

St. Louisans deserve flexible economic opportunities and safe, affordable transportation options.

Once you download the Uber app, pinpoint your location and tap a button, a driver on the uberX platform will pick you up in minutes at a price that is up to 20% cheaper than a taxi. The app will provide the driver’s name, picture, vehicle information, and geographical location to provide full transparency on your Uber’s arrival.

What to expect with uberX

uberX is our affordable ridesharing request option that currently operates in over 150 cities around the U.S.. Driver partners on uberX have mid-range or hybrid vehicles in a variety of colors and styles, with seating for up to four passengers.  All driver partners must undergo a thorough background check and driving history check.  But our commitment to safety extends far beyond just that.

    • Multi-stage background checks that screen for driving history, disqualifying county, state, and federal offenses, national sex offender registry, and terrorist watchlist
    • No street hails to assure that no ride is anonymous and that each trip is tracked live via GPS
    • Require electronic payments to avoid risks from carrying cash, meaning drivers do not become targets for theft
    • Electronic receipts to maintain record of every trip
    • 24/7 feedback loop and customer support ensuring that riders and drivers are constantly rated based on quality and service
    • Share my ETA to allow friends and family to visually track your trip in real-time
    • End-to-end insurance, covering each trip with a $1,000,000 liability insurance policy




Downtown to Central West End $11
Clayton to the Grove $15
Soulard to The Loop $20


Check out our website for full details on rates and pricing.

Bringing uberX to St. Louis has been a long time coming. Thanks for helping us get here.

Enjoy the ride ahead.

-Team Uber St. Louis




Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by FinanceDad - September 18, 2015 at 12:25 pm

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Finance Options for Personal Funding Needs

Personal financial fortunes ebb and flow, alongside earnings and spending. In an ideal world, the flow of cash through your household is enough to cover spending obligations, without taking extraordinary measures. At times, however, financial commitments exceed income, or unexpected expenses change your status. Fortunately, there are a variety of options available for those needing funding. And while each case is unique, people share some of the same money concerns.

Regardless of what brings you to the bank, it is important to answer a few questions before making borrowing commitments. By first defining your needs, your search for financing is more direct and focused on the types of loans best suited to your circumstances.

How Much Money do You Need?

A crucial first step toward needed financing is determining exactly how much you intend to borrow. When money is required for a specific one-time purchase, like a home, settling on the correct type of funding is relatively easy. Mortgages are designed exclusively for funding real estate buys, so they are structured for long-term payback at low rates. Qualifying for conventional home loans requires good credit, but there is no better method for financing a property purchase.

In other cases, the best funding approach is not clear-cut. Buying a car, for example, could be accomplished with the help of a personal loan, guaranteed by your employment income. Such personal loans require the same type of credit evaluation typical imposed by mortgage lenders, but they are structured as short-term debt, to be repaid within a few years. Without a strong credit rating, you may struggle to convince banks and credit unions to issue a conventional individual loan.

Do You Have Good Credit?

In addition to the size of a loan, it is essential to consider how much risk you present to lenders. To evaluate creditworthiness, lenders assess your employment and residential histories, as well as financial details from your past. Applicants with steady salaries and strong credit references are less risky to banks, so they have access to the best interest rates and loan terms. Borrowers with credit challenges on their records may not be excluded entirely, but their options may be limited when compared to those with perfect credit histories.

Applicants with limited references or negative entries on their credit records may be able to boost their credit strength using a unique loan program offered by some lenders. Guarantor loans are made with the help of another party willing to lend his or her credit power to your application. To help you qualify, your cosigner’s credit score is considered alongside your own, furnishing an additional layer of security for lenders. In most cases, your guarantor doesn’t participate with repayment or use of the loan proceeds – he or she is there only to secure funding for you. If you fail to repay your loan, however, the guarantor is equally responsible for the outstanding debt, so banks will not hesitate to pursue collections.

Is Borrowing the Best Approach?

Household expenses cover a wide range of costs, from must-haves like food and shelter, to discretionary spending on recreation and entertainment. When customary cash flow is not enough to cover a particular expense, it should be evaluated to determine the best funding approach. Can it wait? Or are financial resources required immediately? By deferring spending and saving for a specific purpose, you may be able to avoid financing and origination fees tied to commercial loans.

Unexpected financial needs requiring quick cash can be hard to manage, because options are limited for those without savings on hand. If the need is short-term and repayment is expected within weeks, a payday loan presents a fast funding alternative, which can be processed quickly, without a formal credit check. Eligibility is based on steady employment, so your anticipated paycheck is used as collateral for this type of funding. Timely repayment is essential when committing to short-term financing, because costly penalties are imposed on those unable to meet payment terms.

Cash on hand is insufficient, at times, so consumers turn to various forms of financing. To settle on the best available funding, first evaluate your needs, accounting for your credit standing and personal resources. Once your goals and alternatives are clear, weigh the benefits of short and long-term options, before committing to the most appropriate loan solution.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by FinanceDad - July 7, 2015 at 1:30 pm

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How do taxes work and other FAQ, so easy a kid could understand

For most people, filing taxes is a simple matter of putting a bunch of numbers into TurboTax, finding out they get some money back, and not giving it a second thought. In this post I hope to explain the basics of the US federal income tax system in simple terms as it applies to most people and list a few FAQs about taxes.

If you see something that isn’t correct or have suggestions on other things to add, please let me know in the comments or by private message. Be sensitive that this is intended as an overview and not line-by-line instructions on how to file one’s taxes. For detailed tax questions you should see a tax professional.

ELI5: Taxable Income, Tax Brackets, Marginal Tax Rates

The biggest point of confusion for a tax novice is how the tax brackets affect their tax burden. Your marginal tax rate and your effective tax rate are not the same thing. Moving into a higher marginal tax bracket does not mean your entire income is taxed at that rate.

The marginal tax brackets for 2013 are listed here (2014). I will use the single filing brackets for illustrative purposes (I also didn’t include deductions for this initial example).

Say you’re a single filer that has $34,000 in taxable income (taxable income is explained more in-depth later). Your boss calls you in and tells you that you’re getting a raise to $40,000 per year! Great! But… how does this affect your taxes? At $34k you’re just under the cutoff for the 25% tax bracket, and now your marginal tax rate is 25% after the raise. Are you really “making” more money, but losing virtually all of it to the increased tax burden?

No. Since the tax brackets are marginal, based on the marginal tax rate (the tax rate at which the next dollar you earn is taxed), only the amount above the 25% bracket threshold ($36,901) is taxed at 25%. Your tax calculation looks like this:

  • $8,925 at 10% = $892.50 ($8,925 in taxable income)
  • $27,325 at 15% = $4098.75 ($36,250 – $8,925 in taxable income)
  • $3,750 at 25% = $937.50 ($40,000 – $36,250 in taxable income)
  • Total tax = $5,928.75, effective federal rate = 14.8%

The marginal tax rates only apply to taxable income – that is, your income after all of your deductions and exemptions are factored into your total income. Your total income is listed in line 22 of the 1040 form, while your taxable income is listed in line 43 of the 1040.

Deductions: Standard, Itemized, above the line – WTF?

Everyone is entitled to deduct certain things from their taxes. Deductions reduce the amount of income that is subject to tax – they reduce your taxable income. Deductions fall into three major categories: the standard deduction, itemized deductions, and “above the line” deductions.

  • The standard deduction in 2013 is $6,100 for single filers in tax year 2013 ($6,200 for 2014). If you claim the standard deduction, this is what you’d put in line 40 of Form 1040.
  • If you want to claim itemized deductions, of which a number of expenses qualify, you need to include Schedule A with your tax filing. The total of your itemized deductions goes in line 40 of the 1040 form. The major itemized deductions are for home mortgage interest, state/local/property taxes, and charitable donations.
  • “Above the line” deductions are listed in lines 23-35 of the 1040. Most require additional documentation to show eligibility. In /r/personalfinance the most popular tend to be the student loan interest deduction (line 33) and the IRA deduction (line 32).

One of the most common tax questions we get here is “Should I itemize my deductions or just take the standard deduction?” If the sum of your itemized deductions is not larger than the standard deduction, you’re almost always better off claiming the standard deduction.

Now let’s go back to our simple example from before. Taking into account the standard deduction and one personal exemption for a single filer, the tax calculation changes significantly for the better:

  • $6,100 + $3,900 = $10,000 subtracted from your taxable income.
  • $8,925 at 10% = $892.50 ($8,925 in taxable income)
  • $21,075 at 15% = $3,161.25 ($30,000 – $8,925 in taxable income)
  • Total tax = $4,053.75, effective federal rate = 10.1%

Notice that the standard deduction and personal exemption put you in the 15% marginal tax bracket instead of the 25% bracket.

Your state may offer its own tax deductions for state taxes. Details vary by state, but one of the most valuable is the deduction for 529 plan contributions if your state offers it.


In addition to deductions, most taxpayers are entitled to claim one or more tax exemptions. Exemptions, like deductions, reduce your taxable income. The personal exemption is $3,900 for 2013 ($3,950 for 2014). If you are married filing jointly you can claim an additional exemption for your spouse. You can also claim an additional exemption for each dependent.

High income individuals and couples may run into the phaseout thresholds for the exemption(s) they claim. For more, see IRS Publication 17.

Tax Withholding

Your employer is required to withhold taxes from each of your paychecks by law. The formula for withholding can be found in IRS publication 15. You can adjust your withholding by giving a new/modified W-4 form to your employer. The W-4 allows you to specify the number of allowances or extra withholding from your paycheck.

The IRS also provides a somewhat useful withholding calculator that can help you determine if you are withholding too much or too little from your paychecks. The calculator is good if you have a regular salary that doesn’t change much throughout the year.

Tax “refunds” – Not Ideal

Your tax filing calculates your actual tax obligation to what you’ve had withheld throughout the year. If you underwithhold, you will owe the IRS the difference. Beware that if you purposely underwithhold too much, you may face a penalty.

If your tax obligation is less than what you’ve had withheld throughout the year, the difference is returned to you as a “tax refund.” While it may seem counterintuitive, tax refunds are not a good thing. “Refund” implies that you actually owed the money you paid at some point – this is not the case. Money that you never owed was being held by the government at 0% interest. Instead of working for you throughout the year by paying down debt or funding your retirement accounts, your money was effectively doing nothing for anyone. Aiming for as small a refund as possible, or even owing a small amount, is highly advisable. You can do so by adjusting your allowances on your W-4.

Tax Credits

Tax credits directly reduce your tax burden by effectively giving you a refund. There are dozens of tax credits in the tax code. Some of the more common, subject to eligibility, are the child care credit, foreign tax credit, American Opportunity tax credit, and Lifetime learning tax credit. Your state may offer tax credits as well.

Capital Gains and Capital Losses

Another common point of confusion is the capital gains tax rules. Due to the character limit, I will direct you to this page from which explains things very well.

You cannot claim unlimited tax-free long term capital gains in the 15% tax bracket – only the amount required to “fill up” the 15% bracket is exempt from tax. Any long-term capital gains past that would be taxed at the 15% rate.

Other Taxes

Several other taxes you will or may be responsible for paying, and will see withheld from your paycheck:

  • State/local taxes – rates vary by state and locality.
  • Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance – 6.20% up to $113,000 in taxable income in 2013, 6.20% up to $117,000 in taxable income in 2014.
  • Medicare – 1.45% on your entire taxable income. If you are a high earner you may have to pay an additional 0.9%.

Frequently Asked Questions about Taxes

Should I see someone about my taxes?

Even if you’re itemizing your deductions, the majority of people that ask this question in /r/personalfinance are likely capable of filing their taxes themselves. Tax situations that may merit seeing a professional would be a small business, multiple state residencies/income, or overseas tax issues (foreign tax credit, foreign earned income exclusion). Tax preparation costs vary based on complexity and where you live, but most tax returns can be prepared by a professional for a few hundred dollars.

What tax software should I use?

TurboTax and TaxACT are the two most popular commercial suites. If your income is below $58,000 you can file your federal return for free directly with the IRS using freefile. Costs of state returns through the Turbotax and TaxACT cost $36.99 and $17.99, respectively. Both suites charge more for things like capital gains, rental income, etc.

I already filed my taxes. Can I still contribute to a Roth IRA?

Yes. Unless you’re eligible for the saver’s credit then your Roth contribution after you file your return but before the April 15 deadline will not affect your tax filing. Roth contributions are post-tax.

Why doesn’t the student loan interest deduction double for couples married filing jointly?

That’s just the way the tax code was written. The maximum you can deduct in student loan interest is $2,500 regardless of your filing status.

What’s the difference between a tax deduction and a tax credit?

Tax deductions reduce the amount of your income that is taxed, while tax credits reduce your tax burden directly. The amount your tax burden is reduced by a deduction is the amount of the deduction times your marginal tax rate. For example, a tax deduction of $1,000 for someone in the 25% tax bracket will save $250 on their overall tax burden. A tax credit of $1,000 will save $1,000 on their overall tax burden.

I screwed up a tax return for a previous tax year. What should I do?

You need to file an amended return, form 1040X. The IRS provides this guidance for filing amended returns. As the IRS notes, your state tax obligation may change based on your federal tax obligation. You may need to file an amended state return as well.


Taxes can be intimidating if you’ve never done them before, but most filings are fairly simple. Hopefully the information above answers some of your questions about the basics of the US tax system – please use the comments if you have additional questions.

Edit 04/12/2014: The Tax Policy Center has a great interactive Form 1040 and Schedule A page, in which you can get a brief summary of each line of the 1040/Schedule A by rolling your cursor over it.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by FinanceDad - August 7, 2014 at 8:49 am

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A raise in salary may not be as big as you think to your pocket

I was recently promoted and got a salary bump, common I’m sure among people like me in their 20’s and getting into the workforce. What people sometimes fail to realize is that a large salary increase doesn’t necessarily have as large an impact as they would think. When I was promoted close friend politely asked me if I got a raise with the promotion and I told him I would be making $X more each month.

“Wow,” he said, “that’s great. If I made $X more every month…” and proceeded to list off things he would do.

Now, I’m not complaining about my promotion or my raise, I love my job. However, I would like people to be aware of things that have reduced my $X salary increase:

  • Income taxes. That extra money is taxed at the highest bracket of all my income.
  • Reduced deductions and credits. Because I’m making more now, I no longer qualify for a number of tax deductions and credits I did previously.
  • Exercise. I used to swim every day. Now that I have more work and responsibilities, I need to be in the office working when I would have been swimming. I’ve had to join a gym that’s open at crazy hours to get my exercise in.
  • Food. Healthy food and convenient food is expensive. With my reduced exercise and increased workload, I had to improve my eating habits to stay healthy.
  • Entertainment. Now that I’m in management, when I go out with the other managers, we go to higher end places. Additionally, I still socialize with my team and go out with them on occasion.
  • Travel. Now that more people are dependent on me, I can’t take vacation time whenever I want. When I go home for Christmas, it’ll be a last minute flight. I also work from home a lot less now, so I’m racking up the miles on my car and the gas bills.

These are specific to me, but I’m sure for many people, there are a lot of other things that require expenditures as well (maybe a new wardrobe, etc.). It can be expensive just to fit in and as superficial as it may be, from a career perspective, choosing to be the new promotion who does not “step up” into their new role can be unwise.

Edit: I should make it clear that I’m not complaining about my situation in any way. I’m completely happy with where I am and how I spend my money. This is more of an advisory for people like my friend who hear “new job with $X raise” and think “$X more in my wallet, time to go shopping!”

Edit 2: I in no way meant to imply that I am making less money or have less money than I did previously. My point is that the cost of maintaining the same standard of living I was previously enjoying increased due to increased job constraints. These and other factors can chip away at the seemingly large sum of extra money one receives as when their salary increases with a new job or promotion.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by FinanceDad - at 8:39 am

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